Old Ship Reveals Plans For New Parish House
By Kristen Arute, Hingham Current Staff; October 24, 2020
Sketch of proposed Parish House next to existing Meeting House
"On Tuesday, October 13th more than 110 members and friends of Old Ship attended our Special Parish Meeting," read an email from Janet Asnes, President of Old Ship Board of Trustees. "The evening was a wonderful display of democracy in action." Asnes went on to describe the two votes that had been taken and noted that the Trustees would "only work with organizations that we believe operate in good faith and in alignment with our values."
The Church hopes to sell the front portion of the 107 Main Street property where the existing Parish House sits to Hingham-based Atlantic Development for the purpose of building luxury condominiums and the back portion to the Town of Hingham's Affordable Housing Trust (HAHT). The HAHT would use the land to expand the Lincoln School Apartments. The project would add 36 units of senior housing to the facility with three floors of twelve units on each floor. A Zoning Overlay District would need to be approved by Town Meeting first before any work could be done at 107 Main Street since the property is currently protected by two historic districts and is zoned for single-family use by Hingham's Zoning Bylaw.
Old Ship plans to put the proceeds from the two sales toward the construction of a new, three-story Parish House at 90 Main Street next to the Meeting House. It is currently projected to be 8000 square feet in size and would cost $3.68M to build. A one-story retaining wall would be constructed between the Parish House and the cemetery bank, and the building would be fully handicapped accessible. The top floor would be accessible by walkway from the Meeting House to porch into the Fellowship Hall. That is not shown on the schematic. An intensive archaeological survey of the 90 Main Street parcel would need to be conducted before any work could be done.
The terms of the deal are that Atlantic Development would "deliver" the new Parish House "within the Purchase Price budget of $3.1M;" however, if the scope of the project were to exceed that amount, the Church would pay the additional cost. The sale to Atlantic Development would net $3.1M, and the sale to the HAHT could bring in up to $500,000. The projected revenues from both sales are expected to total $3.6M.
The sale to the HAHT would be contingent upon the Atlantic Development project going through. The HAHT is currently seeking $700,000 of CPA funds.